Friday, April 15, 2011

Interview with Penny Zeller

We have a very special guest with us today but first, before I begin the interview with her,  here is a brief biography about this lovely lady.

Penny Zeller is the author of several books and numerous magazine articles in national and regional publications. She is also the author of the humor blog “A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, and Author” ( She is an active volunteer in her community, serving as a women’s Bible study small-group leader and co-organizing a women’s prayer group. Penny devotes her time to assisting and nurturing women and children into a closer relationship with Christ. Her passion is to use the gift of the written word that God has given her to glorify Him and to benefit His kingdom. Kaydie follows McKenzie in Montana Skies, her first series with Whitaker House. When she’s not writing, Penny enjoys spending time with her family and camping, hiking, canoeing, and playing volleyball. She and her husband, Lon, reside in Wyoming with their two children. Penny loves to hear from her readers at her Website,

And now, it is with great pleasure that I welcome a new found friend to my blog today.  Please join with me in welcoming Penny Zeller, author of both Mandie and its sequel, Kaydie.

Hello, Jan Marie, it’s great to be a guest on your blog!

Hello, Penny!  Your bio makes it sound as if you are an extremely busy and active person. It makes me wonder how you find time to write such outstanding books. What is your favorite part of the writing process?

I love the creation of characters. My books are character-driven, so I love being able to create situations and dialogue. I enjoy developing how the characters will respond to various situations throughout the book based on their personalities.

What is your least favorite part of the writing process?

That would be easy – editing.

Wow! I certainly didn't expect that quick response! Most writers do say that editing is their least favorite part of the entire process but you answered so succinctly and without hesitation that it is quite obvious just how little you enjoy it! Tell us a bit about your typical (if there is such a thing as typical) day.

I agree, Jan Marie, there really is no such thing as a typical day!  Each day varies, but most of my weekdays follow this routine: When the alarm goes off in the morning, my young daughters come in for some snuggle time and morning prayers. Finally on the fourth or fifth alarm, we climb out of bed and prepare for our day. While my girls are getting ready for school, I spend time alone in God’s Word; then right before breakfast, we read Keys for Kids devotions together.

What a wonderful way to start the day! I work in an elementary school and see so many students come to school each morning with no breakfast, their parents have been yelling at them, or they have had to fend for themselves just to get to school at all. I wish more students could begin each day in such a positive manner. What a difference it would make!

After dropping my daughters off at school, I spend the first couple hours or so responding to emails and taking care of the marketing side of writing. Then I break for some exercise and to listen to David Jeremiah’s broadcast on the radio.  After that, it’s time for lunch, then back to writing. I spend the latter half of the day working on my newest writing projects.

Because I do a lot of volunteer work, I also factor in time for that as well, which varies from day to day. (And I also fit in the housework too, LOL). Once I pick my girls up from school, writing work for the day is done, unless I’m on a tight deadline. Time for my “mom/wife life” to begin - soccer and piano practice, homework, and preparing dinner before my husband comes home become my focus.

It wears me out just thinking about that hectic schedule. You must have a lot more stamina than I do! Let's pretend that you just finished your book several days before your deadline. How will you celebrate or reward yourself?

My husband takes us out for a delicious dinner at this tiny Mexican restaurant in our town. I am quite fond of cheese enchiladas and Spanish rice. 

That sounds good to me too. What genre do you enjoy reading the most?

My favorite is historical romance. There’s something neat about being able to pick up this genre and escape into a simpler time.

For many years, I was interested only in contemporary reading. It is only recently that I have begun reading more historical fiction and I wholeheartedly agree with the concept of escaping into a simpler time. What was your favorite subject, or subjects, in school?

English was my favorite subject (surprise, surprise) after recess, of course! I liked pretty much all of the subjects in school, with the exception of anything related to math. Math and I have never gotten  along!

Ha! I loved both English and math but didn't care much for the science. Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

I love so many verses in the Bible that it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. However, Psalm 91 is high on the list of all-time favorites.

Good choice and I agree with you on that! That chapter thrills me anew each time I read it! Your most recent book is Kaydie, which is Book 2 in your Montana Skies Series, and is scheduled for release this month. Can you please give us a brief synopsis?

I am thrilled about the release of Kaydie. A short synopsis is as follows:

Since the death of her abusive husband, Kaydie Kraemer’s life has been easier, but she’s wary of men and builds a wall of protection around her, staying with her sister McKenzie as she awaits the birth of her baby. Haunted by her painful marriage, Kaydie is determined never to fall in love again, and it will take the grace of God to change her mind—the same grace that works in the heart of ranch hand Jonah Dickenson, a confirmed bachelor who has unhealed wounds of his own to overcome.

Cindy Sproles produced a fantastic book trailer for Kaydie, which can be viewed at

I was fortunate enough to be able to read an advance copy of Kaydie and I can promise everyone that they will fall in love with Kaydie and the other characters in this book. Where can readers purchase a copy of Kaydie?

Kaydie is available everywhere books are sold, including Amazon at

What’s up next for your readers?

I just finished the third book in the series, Hailee, which is scheduled for release in September. I'm also working on a second historical romance series that takes place in the Post-Civil War Era. I recently finished book one in the series and have started writing book two.

I will definitely be eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new books! Where can fans find you on the Internet?

I love to connect with my readers at my website, my blog; on Twitter at; and on Facebook at

It's been a real pleasure to have you join us today, Penny! Do you have any parting comments for our readers?

I would like to thank you, Jan Marie, for having me here, and also thank my readers for their support and encouragement. I couldn’t do it without you! Secondly, I would like to let everyone know that from April 1 – May 15 is my official blog tour for Kaydie. I will have all the details (including a chance to win Hailee, the third book in the series) on my FB author page, so be sure to stop by!

Be sure to visit again on Sunday when I will be posting a review of Kaydie and giving you the chance to win a copy of Penny Zeller's newest release!


  1. Great interview. I'm posting an excerpt of Kaydie 5/16/11.

  2. Thank you so much for graciously allowing me to be a guest on your blog, Jan Marie. I so appreciate you!

    Awesome, Sid! I really appreciate you including an excerpt on your site!


  3. Great interview! I'm so wanting to read this book. Please enter me.


  4. Penny,

    What a great post. This is a must read for me. I hope when you draw the name out of the hat it is mine.

    Walk in harmony,

  5. Hello Jo and Melinda ~
    Thank you for stopping by. Would you mind leaving a comment also on the review portion of Jan Marie's post? I would love for you both to be entered to win Kaydie!

    BTW, Melinda, it has been wonderful getting to know you through your blog :)


  6. Penny,

    I absolutely loved reading the first book in this series, I would love to read the second. Thanks for the opportunity via this giveaway.

    soklad at hotmail dot com

  7. I am a GFC follower

    soklad at hotmail dot com

  8. Melinda, I would love to be able to add your name for the drawing but I need an email address in order to be able to do so. I hope that you see this message and leave an email address where I can contact you if you are the winner.

    Steph and Jo, thanks for your connents. I have added your names in the drawing.

    Hi, Sid! Good to see you here too. Thanks for your kind words. I will be reviewing your book soon. I'm sorry that the review is so delinquent and appreciate your understanding.

    Jan Marie